Skin diseases in Ayurveda

Skin diseases in Ayurveda:

Kushtha (Ayurvedic terminology), Skin disease

शरीरं कुष्णाति वपु: इति कुष्ठम् l
Means the condition in which skin produce discolouration and if not treated properly then ultimately results in disfigurement known as ‘Kushtha’. In Ayurveda, any type of skin disease in general called as ‘Kushtha’.

Causative factors:

  • Habit of overeating
  • Intake of contradictory and toxic food articles
  • One who repeatedly eating of preserved food items which are oily and  heavy to digest
  • Intake of excessive hot or cold food repeatedly
  • Intake of foods like excess amount of curd, sour substances, salt, fish and sesame oil with jaggery
  • Repeatedly having cold water bath immediately after intensive exposure to sun
  • Having food during indigestion and when previous meal is not properly digested
  • Sleep during day time regularly (except one become very much tired)
  • Perform sexual intercourse during indigestion
  • Indulge in  sinful activity
  • Insult of elders and saints
  • Bad deeds of past and present life

According to Ayurveda, there are two major classification of all types of ‘Kushtha’(skin diseases). These are:
1) Maha-kushtha (Major skin disease) and
2) Kshudra-kushtha (Minor skin disease)
Further, Maha-kushtha(Major skin disease)  is subdivided into seven subtypes, which are:

  • Kapala kushtha- Vata dosha dominance
  • Audumbara kushtha- Pitta dosha dominance
  • Mandala kushtha- Kapha dosha dominance
  • Rishya jihwa kushtha- Vata & Pitta doshas dominance
  • Pundarika kushtha- Pitta & Kapha doshas dominance
  • Sidhma kushtha- Kapha & Vata doshas dominance
  • Kakanak kushtha- All the above tri-doshas dominance

Kshudra-kushtha (Minor skin disease) is sub-divided into eleven subtypes and these are:

  • Eka kushtha
  • Charmakya
  • Vipadika
  • Kitibh
  • Alasaka
  • Dadru
  • Pama
  • Charmadala
  • Visphota
  • Shataaru and
  • Vicharchika

In Ayurveda, there is also some miscellaneous conditions in which discolouration and disfigurement and the other symptoms of skin disease may produce such as, Uttana Vat-rakta (peripheral vascualar disease), Visarpa (erisepelus), Punaravartak jwar (boils and pustules presents in fever recurrence), Raktaj krimi (infestation of parasites), Dushi visha( auto toxins) etc.

Premonitory symptoms:

  • Excessive sweating or absence of perspiration
  • Skin become very soft or extreme dry  and rough
  • There is discolouration on the skin with burning sensation and itching
  • Sometimes there is loss of touch sensation
  • There may various types of pain in the affected part and sensation of tingling and numbness

Common symptoms of skin disease:

  • Discolouration
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of sensation of touch
  • Excess perspiration or very less perspiration
  • Formation of various types of pustules
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Oozing
  • Boils
  • Lethargy and
  • Sometimes Weakness in chronic conditions

The general complications are profuse discharge, decay of body parts, falling of hairs and other body parts with thirst, fever, diarrhoea, debility, anorexia and indigestion, contracture of the affected organs, loss of function of the hands and feet, loss of eyesight and non-healing wounds.
Vata dosha causes blackish and reddish discolouration, coarseness, roughness, pain, wasting, piercing pain, tremors, horripilation, contraction, exhaustion, stiffness, numbness, decay and breaking down of the organs.
Pitta dosha causes heat, sweating, moistening, sloughing, discharge, suppuration and redness.
Kapha dosha causes whiteness discolouration, coldness, itching, immobility, heaviness, protuberance, oilyness and covering.
The maggots eat up the skin, veins, muscle fibres and even cartilages.

According to Ayurveda, skin diseases which may spread in the skin and blood are ‘Sadhya’ (curable). If it is spreading in to the muscle fibres and fatty tissues and having of two doshas dominance, then it is ‘Yapya’ (difficult to treat). If the skin disease going down and down and into the deeper structure particularly affecting the bones, bone marrow or up to the genes or if it may produce by tri doshas dominance or presents with more over the above complications and if it does not respond to ‘Panchkarma treatment’ and ‘Siravyadha treatment’ procedures, then it is ‘Asaadhya’ (incurable).

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